The dark nights are drawing in, there’s an eerie chill in the air, and... the supermarkets are crammed full of sweets: Halloween is almost here.
And with spooky season nearly upon us, it’s time to get planning. While we’re happy to leave to costume ideas to you — if you’re thinking of going as a spiky coronavirus, you’re surely not the only one — we do have some recommendations of where to have a ghostly good time in London.
Survive The Night at DNA VR
Anyone who’s done anything even remotely creepy involving virtual reality will know that things can get very scary, very quickly. If getting transported into a wholly immersive world full of spooky surprises sounds like your kind of thing, though, then this event at London’s first virtual reality arcade is for you. Step inside your chosen world — a haunted hospital, a supernatural manor or a zombie-ridden landscape — and do your best to escape. Halloween-themed drinks will be on hand for anyone who needs some liquid relaxation afterwards.
October 29, Battersea Power Station, 18 Arches Lane, SW11, dnavr.co.uk
Death Metal Burger at Tommi’s Burger Joint Soho
It’s been a scary time for all of us these past 18 months or so, and musicians are among those to have been hit hardest by multiple lockdowns. Now, you can help out struggling artists and enjoy a delicious burger at the same time thanks to Tommi’s Burger Joint and the band Calligram. The two have teamed up to create the Death Metal Burger — comprising a charcoal bun, a black angus patty, blow-torched blue cheese, grilled black pudding, shredded lettuce, Tommi’s Volcano sauce and jalapeños — with £1 of every purchase donated to the Help Musicians charity.
Until October 31, 37 Berwick Street, W1, tommis.is
Prince Charles Cinema screenings
Watching a film at this Leicester Square cinema is unlike any other in London — its sing-alongs, quote-alongs and film marathons are the stuff of legend — and all throughout October, it’ll be screening some spooky classics. On Halloween itself, the films range from The Shining and Scream to The Exorcist and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; check the listings for the full freaky listings.
Throughout October, 7 Leicester Place, WC2, princecharlescinema.com
Ardbeg’s Monster Ice Scream Truck Tour
A horned, betentacled ice cream truck will be rolling into Covent Garden for Halloween, serving up whisky-flavoured cocktails. It’s a collaboration between Scotch brand Ardbeg and ice cream parlour Ruby Violet, with three serves incorporating a different smoky single malt from the distillery’s repertoire. A £10 ticket gets you a 45-minute slot to enjoy your choice of one ice cream and one cocktail.
October 26-27, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2, ardbeg.com
Dead Disco at Cherry Galore
Newly opened Stoke Newington hangout Cherry Galore will be welcoming Halloween revellers into its basement bar for this late-night party. The dress code is simple: come dressed as your favourite deceased music hero. The so-called Unhappy Hour runs until 9pm, with deals on prosecco, beer and cocktails, with DJs including Backroom Disco Soundsystem and Ronnie Joice keeping things going until 2am. Entry is free.
October 29, 129 Stoke Newington High Street, N16, cherrygalore.com
Halloween buns at Bun House
If Halloween is a great excuse to eat your body weight in sweets, then you may as well extend the indulgence and gobble up a few steamed buns while you’re at it. Chinatown favourite Bun House will be serving up limited-edition spiced pumpkin buns over the Halloween weekend, which are also available for collection as part of a themed, mixed box set between October 20-27.
October 30-31, 26-27 Lisle Street, WC2H 7BA, bun.house
LoveJuice Halloween Weekender at E1
The Halloween weekend is always a busy one for London’s clubbing calendar, with the city’s major late-night venues hosting nights, but our pick is this two-day blowout at E1. Promising a transformation into “haunted warehouse”, the club has confirmed Sammy Porter, George Mensah, Rennie Peters and SUAT as the DJs so far, with more names to be confirmed.
October 29-30, 110 Pennington Street, E1, e1ldn.co
Halloween at Sky Garden
Got a fear of heights? Maybe this venue, 35 floors above the city, will be the wrong kind of scary for you — but otherwise, it’s a pretty spectacular place to celebrate Halloween. DJs and a live band will provide the soundtrack, with themed drinks and food on the menu. Tables can be booked in advance, which include a free cocktail and glass of champagne.
October 29-30, 1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3, skygarden.london
Halloween at Between the Bridges
There’s plenty going on at this South Bank venue, which will undergo a ghostly transformation for the Halloween period. The Clapham Grand will host various drag shows featuring Jayde Adams, Joe Black and Crystal, with a bottomless prosecco drag brunch with queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race also in the offing. Elsewhere, there’s face painting, horror-themed karaoke singalongs, DJ sets and more. Check the website for the full listings.
October 25-31, Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1, betweenthebridges.co.uk
Forbidden Forest at COYA
Peruvian restaurant and bar COYA will transform its Mayfair and Angel Court venues into “forbidden forests” over Halloween for a series of events. On October 28, the weekly Ritual party will offer themed cocktails and music, while on the following Saturday it’s all about brunch — with yellowfin tuna ceviche, Chilean sea bass croquettes and more on the menu. That evening, it’s the Halloween party, with resident DJs on the decks.
October 28-30, 118 Piccadilly, W1 / 31-33 Throgmorton Street, EC2, coyarestaurant.com